Railways mulling 1,00,000 extra wagons amid rising freight, coal demand


Amid rising demand for coal freight and an aggressive push in direction of diversifying its freight basket, Indian Railways is planning to purchase 1,00,000 extra wagons over the following three monetary years.

The procurement plan will majorly include BOX N wagons, that are used to move coal, a senior ministry of railways official stated. Notably, the railways not too long ago floated a large tender value Rs 35,000 crore of wagons, which had been within the pipeline since 2018.

“Our finances estimates for freight improve had been conservative. With the encouraging freight numbers on this monetary yr, we need to attain increased numbers each on this yr and within the medium-term,” the official added.

Based on the finances, railways goals to extend its annual freight loading to 1475 mt, with a projected income at Rs 1.65 trillion in 2022-23.

Beneath the Nationwide Rail Plan (NRP), the Centre desires to considerably improve the nationwide transporter’s freight numbers, together with its modal freight share to 45 per cent by 2030. As per authorities estimates, consolidated demand for freight will probably be over 6300 million tonne (mt) by 2026 and 8220 mt by 2031.

Having ferried 1418 mt on this fiscal, the nationwide transporter would wish to account for over 3600 mt in 2031 to fulfill its NRP targets. Within the medium-term, it’s concentrating on over 2000 mt by 2024.

As per some main wagon suppliers, stakeholder session for this plan has not occurred but, however throughout earlier interactions with the railway board, the business was eager to have elevated wagon provide orders on a rolling or annualised foundation.

Whereas the plan is at a nascent stage proper now, the anticipated demand for rail freight has given the ministry the impetus to go ahead with it, the official stated.

Ashish Kumar Gupta, managing director of main wagon provider Texmaco Rail & Engineering, feels that quickly after the floating of a mega tender, one other one to be executed in the identical timeline may show to be a tall order, however not insurmountable.

“This new wagon procurement plan, in the case of fruition will probably be a welcome step. The not too long ago floated tender had been within the works for a very long time, and it’ll result in extra funding in capability upgradation. Whereas one other tall order like 100,000 wagons may take a look at the business, ramping up our capability shouldn’t be an enormous problem. As an business, we are able to improve our manufacturing skill with a gradual movement of orders,” he stated.

The nationwide transporter would additionally want to exchange its previous and out of date wagons to overtake its provide system. “The present fleet of wagons has 10-12 per cent that want substitute. An order like this is able to augur nicely because it serves the needs of incremental freight loading and in addition revitalising the present wagon fleet,” Gupta stated.

Not too long ago, the nationwide transporter had additionally allegedly not supplied sufficient rakes for the provision of coal to thermal energy crops. Towards a requirement of 441 rakes per day, railways has been in a position to allot 405, as per newest knowledge from the ministry.

In the meantime, coal freight has elevated 111 mt or 20.5 per cent on this monetary yr alone. The extra requirement of coal-ferrying wagons comes on the again of this demand.

Moreover, the ministry additionally desires to diversify its freight basket, which is basically dominated by uncooked supplies proper now. Sector consultants really feel that last-mile connectivity and easy operations for railways are important if it desires to woo company shoppers and add extra completed items to its basket.

As per knowledge launched on Friday, Indian railways ferried 15 mt extra of products apart from its core commodities this fiscal.

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